Andrew's Witnessing Strategy

Bible Book: John  1 : 40
Subject: Soul Winning; Evangelism; Witnessing; Operation Andrew

Andrew, next to our Lord Himself, is the Bible's master soul-winner. His name appears only three times in Scripture, but always, he is bringing someone to Jesus. First, there is Simon Peter, the big fisherman; then, the little boy with the loaves and fishes; and finally, the Greeks who would "see Jesus."

His technique is a model for us all. Our text outlines three phases in being God's instrument in changing normal men into the Master's men and sinners into saints.

I. Find Your Brother

The first step in bringing people to Christ is finding your brother.

That is not witnessing, and it is certainly not soul-winning. Surprise, surprise - it's Monday night visitation. Finding your brother should generally be done in two ways: 1) way-of-life evangelism, in which we are constantly aware of the special possibilities all around us, and 2) organized, planned, disciplined visitation, as with a weekly church visitation program.

Are you sensitive to those around you? I have found that the easiest way to get into a discussion about the things of God is to listen. In almost any conversation, people will say something that you can pick up on and turn into spiritual talk. They will ask a leading question. They may bring up a topic with a spiritual implication. But if you will listen with your heart, you will find the Holy Spirit opening doors big enough to drive trucks through.

They may say, "Things are sure bad in Washington." You say, "yes, but I know who can make it better."

They say, "My father has cancer." You say, "I'll pray for him."

God did not call us to live in monasteries. We are the world's light and salt. The salt is not intended to remain in the shaker. Touch people, plan to visit, and prepare to listen. Be on constant alert for the opportunity to introduce Jesus into every casual conversation. People are everywhere! Look for them, listen to them, and talk to them about what's really important. Andrew first found his brother. Contact with the prospect, whether planned or seemingly coincidental, may be God's date with destiny for some lost soul.

II. Share Your Witness

The second step to bringing people to Christ is the witness.

Listen to John's account: "And (he) saith unto him, ‘We have found the Messiah.’" (John 1:41, KJV). Finding your brother is visitation. Telling your brother whom you have found is witnessing. Jesus did not say you should be His arguers, His debaters, His apologists, His defenders, He said, "You shall be my witnesses" (Acts 1:8, RSV). Witnesses simply tell what they know and have seen by personal experience.

The Bible presents world evangelism as a courtroom scene. Jesus is on trial in every person's life. He is the true Light who lights every person who comes into the world. Each person is aware of spiritual reality. The problem is, people don't know what the light is. God has illuminated each heart, but He uses witnesses to tell people that the Light of the world is Jesus. That's what witnesses do. They tell what they know by firsthand experience.

World evangelism is like a courtroom trial. Satan is the prosecuting attorney condemning Jesus accusing Jesus, whispering to the heart of each person, "No, You don't want Jesus. Reject Him today, forever."

The Holy Spirit is the defense attorney commending Jesus, loving Him, urging people to accept Him into their hearts. The Holy Spirit is the master attorney, trying, billions of cases all at once. He knows where every case is at each moment. The time comes when He uses a witness for the defense. He needs your strong and clear-cut testimony for Christ, and He needs it now. So, He prompts the heart of a non-Christian to say something in casual conversation to which you can respond. Go ahead, do it. Speak the word. Drop in and do it now. If you do so faithfully, your testimony may be the turning point that wins the case for the Holy Spirit and brings in a verdict for Jesus-not guilty. Your silence, however, may lose the case. Your reluctance may destroy everything. You may not be around to see the verdict come in, but you will have done your part. You are not responsible for the results; you are responsible for the witness.

III. Practice Soul Winning

The third step in bringing people to Christ is the closure; the step of soul-winning.

First, Andrew visited-he found his brother. Second, he witnessed-he told his brother whom he had found. Third, he practiced soul-winning.: "And he brought him to Jesus" (John 1:42, KJV)

What is the natural consequence of telling your brother whom you have found? It is that you tell your brother how he can find Him. The gospel is share, the tract presented, the plan of salvation given, the closure offered, and the person repents of his or her sins and asks Jesus to come into his or her heart.

Notice the order. It is crucial:

1. Visitation
2. Witnessing
3. Soul-winning

Most of us go from visitation to soul-winning, but with only limited success. You will be many times more successful if you introduce your personal testimony into the equation. People may argue theology, refute your topic, debate Scripture, or ridicule your beliefs. But virtually no one-I repeat, no one-will argue about your personal experience. It softens the soul; it moves the heart and disarms the obstinate. Share your faith, and leave the results to God.

This order, followed in the power of the Spirit, should not only take the pressure off you as you witness, but it also should greatly increase the results the Holy Spirit gives. Remember, you are not on trial. You do not fail or win depending on the verdict. You only fail if you do not give the witness-if you don't try at all. The Campus Crusade folks were right when they coined the phrase, "A successful witnessing experience is presenting the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results to God." And let me add a successful witnessing experience is the sharing of your faith, as well.


The Saga of D.L. Moody

It was a warm sunny Saturday afternoon in April, 1855. In so many ways, this day was like any other day. But somehow in the heart of one Sunday School teacher in London, a restlessness could not be satisfied. Finally, agreeing in his spirit to obey the voice of God and the troubling of the Holy Spirit, Edward Kimball decided to go talk to that student in his class whom God had placed so heavily on his heart.

Kimball knew the student was not a Christian but was becoming increasingly interested, and he felt that the time to talk with him was now. So he lay aside his Saturday afternoon pleasantries, got in his buggy, and went down to the little store where Lyman Moody was learning to be an apprentice shoemaker and repairman. He found a ready heart. Moody took a small break from work; the two went aside; and, in only moments, a man who was destined to become one of England's mightiest preachers became a Christian. Dwight Lyman Moody bowed his head and thanked Edward Kimball for coming and caring as he said yes to Jesus Christ.

Little did the world know that D.L. Moody would one day take two continents, one in each hand, and shake them for God. So powerful was the power of God so that tens and hundreds of thousands were saved-that he needed help. So he sent word back to London and asked his longtime friend F.B. Myer if he would come and help him preach. Soon, the crusades grew to two sets of crusades across America.

In one of those crusades, a young man came forward and had a mighty experience with God. He opened his heart to Jesus Christ. He was J. Wilbert Chapman. When Dr. Chapman was saved, God gave him two interests. One was the souls of people, and the other was the physical needs of people. And so with the help of Mrs. George Clark, he was instrumental in beginning what was destined to become the most significant and famed inner-city gospel rescue mission in the world, the Pacific Garden Mission.

One evening, a former big-league baseball player, now alcoholic and broke stumbled into the Pacific Garden mission, heard the gospel, and was converted. The fire of God stirred in his soul. He went from tabernacle to tabernacle preaching, from building to revival, from tent to stadium-jumping off pianos, turning over benches, throwing his Bible, storming across the pulpit. He took America by storm. He became the most powerful evangelist in the history of the world to that day. He was the baseball player we know as Billy Sunday.

Another young man, a preacher from the South, was so stirred with the message, inspirational life, and preaching of Billy Sunday that he decided he too must preach. His prayer was that he might be another Billy Sunday. Mordecai Hamm began to thunder up and down the trails of South Georgia and across Mississippi. Within a few months, his preaching would take him to the hills of North Carolina. There, on a quiet evening in a brush arbor meeting, after he had preached a stirring sermon on hell,  a 16 year-old mountain boy walked down the aisle at the invitation of Mordecai Hamm and his Lord. "Billy Frank" they called him. Within three years, he would be called to preach and would enroll in Bible College. No one ever dreamed that more than 100 years later, the result of that faithful Sunday School teacher's witness in London would be the mighty worldwide ministry of the most effective and successful evangelist in the history of the Christian faith, William Franklin (Billy) Graham.